San Jose’s Joe Pavelski said Sunday the penalty against the Golden Knights’ Cody Eakin that led to the Sharks’ victory in Game 7 should not have been called as a five-minute major.
“I got no issues with that play. Was it a five-minute major? No. I don’t think it was. Am I glad they called it that way? Heck, yeah,” Pavelski told reporters in San Jose, California, before leaving with the team for Denver and Game 6 on Monday in their Western Conference semifinals against the Avalanche.
— Adam Hill (@AdamHillLVRJ) May 5, 2019
It was Pavelski’s first comments on the play in which he was cross-checked by Eakin into Paul Stastny, lost his balance, fell awkwardly and slammed his head on the ice. Pavelski needed eight staples in his head to stop the bleeding.
Eakin’s major penalty came with a game misconduct and the Knights leading 3-0 midway through the third period. The Sharks responded by scoring four goals in 4:01 of the power play and won 5-4 in overtime to advance.
The NHL subsequently apologized to the Knights for the referees making a wrong call.
“The refs have a very tough job with how fast plays happen. It’s a scary play. It gets twisted and everything,” Pavelski said. “Was it malicious or anything like that? I don’t believe so. It’s part of the game. I got twisted up. Got bumped on the way down, hit the head.
“Again, I was glad it was called that way. From that moment on, what the guys did after it, to actually go and do that, score four goals, it was a special night.”